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Crewe 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

17 July 2021

A well worked goal from the Alex saw us defeat Wolverhampton Wanderers in our latest pre-season friendly. Chris Long was in the right place to tap home past our former goalkeeper John Ruddy on 53 minutes after Charlie Kirk had picked him out in the six-yard box.

It was a valuable run-out for both sides with Crewe delighted with a clean-sheet.

David Artell gave the majority of his players an hour of game time before introducing six substitutes for the final 30 minutes.

Ahead of our first home friendly of the season, there was a one minute of applause in respect of the sad passing of club servant Andy Scoffin. Our proud PA announcer sadly passed last night following a really brave battle against cancer. Our thoughts are very much with his family and friends today.

The fixture marked Bruno Lage’s first game in charge of Wolverhampton Wanderers and the return of Raul Jimenez. The club’s Mexican forward suffered a horrific head injury back in November and it was fantastic to see such a talent back on the pitch.

Despite the heat, the game got off to a good tempo and as expected Wolves kept the ball well in the opening exchanges and their movement was first class but Crewe did begin to impose themselves on the proceedings.

The Wolves left-back, Rayan Ait-Nouri turned away from a couple of challenges and his cross just evaded Fabio Silva rushing into the Crewe box.

Crewe’s first glimpse of John Ruddy’s goal came via a free-kick won by Owen Dale. Ainley clipped his delivery to the far post and Kirk’s volley into the floor went just wide. Moments later, Long cleverly spun away from Max Kilman but his low cross was just intercepted.

Tommie Hoban stuck his head in the way of one and the summer signing also made a superb block to deny Silva.

The tidy Jiminez rolled away from two to relase Francisco Trincao but he couldn’t keep his effort down enough to trouble Richards. The Mexican also struck the crossbar via a deflected effort from a free-kick. It hit the top of the Crewe wall, sending Richards the wrong way and he watched back as it smacked the top of the crossbar and bounced over for a corner.

Jiminez lasted 33 minutes of his return before he was replaced by Patrick Cutone.

Crewe created some half chances, with Adebisi whipping a dangerous cross right across the six yard box and Hoban played the pass of the half to find Kirk out on the left flank, but his cross was diverted behind for a corner.

The home side ended the first half on top and after another tempting delivery from Kirk, the Wolves defender Marcal and Ruddy seemed to leave it for each other and that allowed Ainley to steal in behind and his firm header had to be pushed away for a corner.

The impressive Ramsay nearly poked Dale through on goal and then after good work from Finney to regain possession, Long saw his shot go just the wrong side of the post.

Wolves were always a threat with the talented they had at their disposal and a searching ball from Gibbs-White saw them break the offside trap with Trincao racing onto it. Offord flicked the initial cross away, and in the follow-up from the advanced Kilman, the ball was eventually hooked clear by Adebisi after a bit of a scramble in front of Richards.

An exciting half, ended with Murphy shooting over the crossbar and Finney heading over from a Dale cross. In the final minute, Richards made a solid save from Cutone.

Wolves made a glutton of changes at the break.

Donervon Daniels replaced Luke Offord at the interval and there was also a scare when Kirk needed treatment but he bounced back up.

Kirk was inevitably involved in the only goal of the game, he hit the by-line from Ainley’s through ball and he calmly picked out Long for a tap-in and his second goal of pre-season.

Hoban made a stunning block to deny Cutone and he was excellent defensively before being one who was replaced for Sass-Davies.

Murphy, who was captain on the day, also made a fine block to deny substitute Owen Osasowie before Crewe made those six changes on the hour. 

There was warm applause on 62 minutes to mark the passing of Andy Scoffin and it was terrific to see his images projected on the new big screen.

Wolves had a real go to try and find an equaliser. Sass-Davies made another block to deny Renat Dadashov from close range and Will Jaaskelainen got a strong hand to Cutone’s shot. It was top save to preserve the clean-sheet on the day for both goalkeepers and the side as a defensive unit.

Although we lost Daniels through injury and played the remaining ten minutes or so with 10 men, we stood up well to the test and came away with a 1-0 win against some top class players.

Crewe Alexandra: Richards, Ramsay, Adebisi, Hoban, Offord, Murphy, Finney, Ainley, Kirk, Long, Dale

Subs: Jaaskelainen, Johnson, Sass-Davies, Robbins, Griffiths, Lundstram

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